Bakers Profit Slips in Q4

Bakers Profit Slips in Q4
A Bakers store location.

Fourth-quarter income dipped at struggling retailer Bakers Footwear Group Inc.
 
For the period ended Jan. 29, the St. Louis-based firm saw an increase in comparable-store sales but also a rise in costs, leading to a net income of $5.2 million, or 54 cents a share, compared with $5.6 million, or 72 cents, in the same period a year ago.
 
Revenue was flattish at $58.2 million, as comp sales advanced 2.6 percent. Gross profit was 35 percent, down from 36 percent, due to increased costs related to the launch of H by Halston and increased promotional activity on boots and booties after softer-than-expected demand in December.
 
Peter Edison, chairman and CEO of Bakers, said in a statement that “business is off to an encouraging start, with comparable-store sales increasing 9.8 percent for the first eight weeks of fiscal year [2011].
 
“We attribute the growth in our sales to … robust regular price selling across our spring shoe offerings. We will continue our focus on controlling expenses while maximizing opportunities to drive profitable sales,” Edison added.
 
For the full year, Bakers lost $9.3 million, or $1.14 a share, compared with $9.1 million, or $1.24, in fiscal 2009.
 
Comps were positive for the third consecutive year, advancing 1.7 percent.
 
The company completed the repayment of its subordinated secured term loan in the fourth quarter, ending the year with a negative shareholder’s equity of $6 million, and $146,000 in cash.